A white cover


U. P. plus Shu Kinpei no Chugoku (Xi Jinping’s China)


KAWASHIMA Shin, KOJIMA Kazuko (editors and authors)


192 pages, A5 format




November 02, 2022



Published by

University of Tokyo Press

See Book Availability at Library

Shu Kinpei no Chugoku

Japanese Page

view japanese page

How should one understand the government of Xi Jinping, who entered his third term as leader of China in autumn 2022? And what are the issues associated with his rule? These are the basic questions addressed in this book. Specialists in the economy, technology, social security, the environment, politics, military affairs, and diplomacy provide answers in separate chapters to questions that are often heard in Japan, such as “Will China not become a democracy?” or “Can Xi Jinping ‘unify’ Taiwan?”
Views of China that have evolved historically over time are prevalent in Japanese society, namely, that China will break up, that its society lacks unity, that there are power struggles, that it is a state with one ruler presiding over all its people, or that it is a top-down system in which the wishes of those in authority are passed down to those below. Today, the view that China and Russia are “monolithic” authoritarian states is also widespread. This further overlaps with the scepticism about socialism and communism that evolved around the time of the Cold War. And for those of a certain generation, a sense of rivalry with China may also influence their view of China. At any rate, there would seem to be various “glasses” and biases through which people look at China, and it is really difficult to rid ourselves of them. This is the same for researchers. Nonetheless, in this book we have aimed to consider to the best of our abilities and with reference to present-day China the issues that it faces and the stance of Xi Jinping’s government in dealing with them.
Part I deals with the economy, technology, the ageing population, and the environment. This is because it may be supposed that these are the issues that weigh most heavily on China today. Economic growth has bearings on the very legitimacy of the Chinese Communist Party, and technology is the driving force behind economic growth, but an ageing population has the potential to become an impediment to economic growth. Environmental problems determine the quality of economic growth. However, what Xi Jinping is seeking is not economic growth itself. It is the maintenance and continuation of the Chinese Communist Party’s one-party dictatorship, the concentration of power in the Chinese Communist Party rather than in the state, and the strengthening of the government’s system of unitary administrative control. Can Xi Jinping’s government actually win the support of society? This is the question discussed in Part II. The realization of “good rule,” comparisons with the leaders of the Soviet Union and Russia, and “democracy” in China are discussed in this section. The position taken by the People’s Liberation Army will also be an important factor for Xi Jinping’s government. China’s foreign policy and its policy towards Taiwan are an extension of this state of its domestic politics. The nature of China’s domestic rule is linked to its foreign policy, and its policy towards Japan also lies within the overall picture of these policies. The same applies to its policy towards Taiwan. But policies in the realm of diplomacy, where there are “partners,” are not translated into reality to the same extent as domestic policies.
This book presents a wide range of topics, and although it is not exhaustive, the questions about China that are often heard in Japanese society have been borne in mind when selecting the topics. Further, so as to provide a uniform kind of answer and explanation for the questions, in each chapter we have endeavoured to explain the way of thinking from a Chinese perspective, present the point of view of Xi Jinping’s government, and give an objective assessment. The aim of the contributors has been to bear in mind question-and-answer sessions at lectures for the general public. Have we actually succeeded? We hope at least that this book will provide an opportunity for readers to broaden and deepen their views of China.

(Written by KAWASHIMA Shin, Professor, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences / 2023)

Try these read-alike books: